Add 5+ Hours to Your Day With One Simple List
Hey guys! One of the things I definitely struggle with on a regular basis is feeling like I just don’t have enough time. Between running errands, cooking, keeping the house clean, getting exercise, running two businesses and spending time with family and friends, I sometimes wonder how anyone manages (including myself!)
The funny thing is, all of us have the same number of hours per day to live the way we want to live. That’s right. You and I and Beyonce and Joanna Gaines all have exactly 24 hours each day to make our magic. No one gets any more or less than that (even famous people!) Isn’t that a little crazy to think about?
So with that in mind, there’s something I’d like you to consider doing that will make a huge difference in the amount of time and focused energy you have each day.
I want you to create a To Not Do List.
If you’re anything like me, you have piles of to-do lists hanging around. And that’s great! Don’t get me wrong, to do lists can be really useful. I know that I wouldn’t be able to organize my brain without them.
But here’s the thing about to do lists. They require focus, effort, and discipline to enact them.
Completing to do lists also tends to take up more of your time, rather than save you time.
The solution? A To NOT Do list. This is simply a list where you write down non-essential or non-productive activities that you typically do on a daily basis that, if eliminated, would save you tremendous amounts of time and stress.
I’ll give you a small sample of my To Not Do list:
- Checking email more than twice per day (saves about one hour)
- Prioritizing errands over work time (saves 2-3 hours)
- Checking personal social media accounts (saves one hour)
This is just a handful of the items I’ve stopped doing to give myself 5-6 more hours each day to devote to work, family time, and going out with friends. And you know what? The cool thing is that instead of feeling like these necessary things aren’t getting done, I actually feel like I’m doing a better job of staying on top of them.
Why? Because knowing that I can’t do them excessively forces me to plan properly. For example, instead of dropping by the grocery store every day or two for a few items here and there, I now really think about the things we might need and only grocery shop twice a week. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through Facebook when I’m bored, I dive straight into work when I get on my computer and then save myself 15 minutes in the evening to check social media all in one go.
Similar to your bank account, the little things add up in your “time account”. Being intentional with your time is one of the best ways to be productive and feel less stressed day to day.
Use Your To Not Do List to Set Boundaries
Have you ever heard the phrase, “You don’t need to set yourself on fire to keep others warm”?
One of the best things about To Not Do lists is that you can use them as a tool to set boundaries for yourself and others that improve your happiness and well being.
How would your life be affected if you…
- Stopped responding to text messages more than twice per day?
- Stopped saying yes to every request from friends and family?
- Stopped doing whichever activity that you do out of obligation that leaves you feeling stressed and depleted?
If you’re a natural people-pleaser (me too!), it’s easy to feel that you always need to be available for others wants and needs. It’s also pretty common to feel guilty about not responding to calls and texts right away, especially when others feel that they should be able to reach you at any time.
But here’s the thing. Making yourself constantly available is emotionally draining and will leave you feeling burnt out and irritable. On top of that, it’s next to impossible to pursue your dreams and passions if you are always saying yes to other people’s requests- and people are happy to “spend” your time for you.
Whether it’s your children, your family, friends, or people you do business with, know that it is perfectly acceptable to set healthy boundaries for your time and energy. When you do so, you’ll also find that these people appreciate your time and help all the more.
My biggest goal on this blog is to help you live an inspired, adventurous life that you love. Time and focus really are best things you can accomplish to lead you there. I hope you spend 15 minutes creating a simple To Not Do list, and then put it on your bedroom wall. I know you’ll find yourself feeling happier and more productive each day that you read it. Let me know how it works for you in the comments below!